#9 How Do We Get from Voice to Change?

How can we turn our voices into influence and bring about actual changes?
Is your goal is to convert voice to influence over policies, institutions, or concrete practices? If so, you’ll need to move beyond raising awareness to mobilize specific actions on the basis of the attention you manage to get.  How can you get traction—real change in concrete practices, institutions, and policies? The research shows that this often comes from a mix of digital and face-to-face organizing. But it’s also possible to achieve influence with online-only tactics. Make sure you know what your targets are, and what changes you want to see. Then you can figure out whether building numbers online and taking aim at your target’s reputation, or criss-crossing the line into hybrid online-offline efforts makes more sense.

What It Can Look Like?

No More Steubenvilles: After high school football players sexually assaulted a teenage girl in Steubenville, Ohio, two young people--one an athlete, the other an activist--launched a change.org petition that was signed by almost 68,000 individuals. The goal: to get the National Federation of High School Associations to offer sexual violence prevention training to the almost 100,000 high school coaches that organization works with. In 2013, the association agreed to partner with seven sexual violence organizations to develop and implement those trainings.

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YOUTH RADIO INTERVIEW 

"Take Direct Action"

Interview by Desmond Meagley

Q. How do you distinguish between raising awareness vs. having influence? Are there different steps you have to take?”

A. In the wake of the heavily-publicized 2012 assault at Steubenville High School in Steubenville, Ohio, feminist activist Carmen Rios was able to change the way schools across the country handle sexual violence. She relates the tactics she used to create a long last impact, such as involving those who seemed like her biggest opponents to create a solution, and why social media was so important to her success.  

We felt that the petition would not only bring justice to Steubenville, but we also felt [it was the means] we could provide the way forward. Because it would so touch directly on the idea of the student athlete in the community [who] was fostering and accepting this active violence. 

 

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